Reviews, profiles and news about music in Chicago

Record Review: Rough Guide to Psychedelic Brazil

Forró, Prog-rock, Psych pop, Psychedelic, Record Reviews, Rock, World Music No Comments »


When the Beatles, the Stones and The Beach Boys started to spread the seeds of drug-addled psychedelics in the music scene in the late sixties, their influence reached musicians in South America, who reshaped and repurposed the music they heard to make it their own. One of the best-known examples of this is “Tropicalia,” a 1968 album that featured Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Tom Ze and Nara Leao. That disc launched a groundbreaking multimedia movement that resonates to this day. Sadly, there are no tracks from that album on this interesting compilation that brings together both well-known and obscure Brazilian musicians who took on the genre and mixed it with various other sounds. Many of the tracks are rare, like “Sorriso Selvagem,” a 1966 track from The Gentlemen, a northeastern Brazilian band that disappeared without a trace but that included Ze Ramalho, a highly respected artist from that country. Read the rest of this entry »

Record Review: “Growing Stone” by Nation Beat

Folk, Forró, Latin, Record Reviews, World Music No Comments »


On the new record by Nation Beat, a Brazilian-inspired band led by Brooklyn-based percussionist Scott Kettner, the group goes beyond its Maracatu roots to explore more sounds from Northeastern Brazil—principally forro (pronounced Fo-HO), a syncopated beat that is highly popular in the region, especially in the state of Ceara, where vocalist Liliana Araujo hails from. Read the rest of this entry »